Wednesday, July 17, 2019

6 Types of Fliers

I've learned through many travels that there are (at least) six consistent archetypes one might encounter on a plane. The chances of finding all of these on a major international flight are very high.

The Professional Flier (First Class Edition)

This person probably just stepped directly from the VIP lounge into their seat on the plane. They have platinum elite status on most airlines and don't even use the few where they don't. They are perfectly coiffed, fashionably dressed, and presentable when they step off the plane, no matter how long and harrowing the flight was for everyone else. It's been so long since they've flown coach that they've forgotten what it's like.

The Professional Flier (Economy Class Edition)

Everything this person needs fits in a rugged old backpack they've used for at least 100 couchsurfing trips already which happens to perfectly fit under the seat each time so they don't need to put anything in the overhead luggage bins. They always get an aisle seat and are the first to unbuckle and stand while the plane is still taxiing. Some of their travel gear probably came from Kickstarter.

The Scared One

Every flight is the flight of fear. No matter how many times someone has flown, something about the turbulence and the helplessness at altitude forces this person to have intrusive thoughts of every missing plane and horrifying crash they've ever heard of pretty much every time they travel. If your flight were a horror film, this person would be the last one left standing, just to keep the suspense alive.

The Guardians of Littles

They either have small children or pets with them, and by golly they are going to get them from Point A to Point B whether it's in one piece or not, come what may. They may feel apologetic or embarrassed when one of the littles has a meltdown, but really 99.9% of everyone around them either understands exactly what they're going through or is very, very grateful they don't.

The Cinephile

The Cinephile will intentionally seek out longer flights in total hours that are multiples of two or three to maximize movie watching time. They tend to favor quantity over quality, and so will begin before even takeoff frantically browsing through the movies trying to decide how many they can cram into one trip. They always have backup headphones in their carry-on bag. This is M.

The Hibernator

The Hibernator person takes the ever-increasing discomfort of airline seats as a minor challenge to be overcome in the quest for slumber. They can sleep through anything, including the meltdown of The Guardians' Littles. They also sometimes exhibit snoring, drooling, or other unattractive sleep-adjacent phenomena. This is me.

Did these resonate with your experience? I hope it at least gave you a good laugh. Are there any stereotypes I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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